2011 Porsche Carrera GTS
It is not easy to find a gap in the Porsche 911 lineup, there are 19 variations of the car for sale in the U.S. right now, but product planners have identified one more (well, two if you count coupe and convertible separately). The chasm between the 385-hp Carrera S and the 435-hp GT3 was heretofore filled by the costly—$16,900—23-hp power pack, which combines modified cylinder heads, a special intake manifold with six vacuum-controlled tuning flaps (instead of the one flap of the regular Carrera S), and a sport exhaust system. The power pack also includes a carbon-fiber air-filter casing.
All of that—without the carbon-fiber air-filter gimmick but with unique bodywork—now comes in the Carrera GTS. Output is 408 hp, versus the 385 hp of the Carrera S. Maximum torque remains 310 lb-ft. Top speed for both coupe and convertible versions is 190 mph. With the Sport Chrono Plus package and PDK on board, Porsche says 0 to 60 mph should take four seconds flat. Based on our previous testing, that is likely a very conservative guess.
Combining stylistic elements from Porsche’s parts bin helps create a model more unique than a Carrera S with the power pack. Like the GT3 RS and Sport Classic, the GTS is rear-drive but uses the body of an all-wheel-drive 911, which is 1.7 inches wider. Black 19-inch RS Spyder wheels with a single, central lug nut are standard, and the rear rubber is a steamrolling 305 mm wide. The front end wears a specific, GT3-like air intake, and there is GTS script on the doors and trunklid. The panel between the dual exhaust pipes is painted black, a styling element that reminds of the mid-engine Carrera GT.
The interior is specific to the GTS, too. Porsche uses high-grip Alcantara for the seat inserts, shifter and hand-brake levers, and the steering-wheel wrap. The premium over the Carrera S is less than the cost of the power pack, or just about 12 grand. That puts the GTS’s sticker at $103,110 for a coupe or $112,900 for a convertible. At that point, though, we’d be tempted to check out the purest 911 of them all, the $113,150 GT3.